AFR: Series Chengdu race one report

Qualifying: Outstanding performance from young drivers Today's Asian Formula Renault [AFR] qualifying brought a brilliant show to Chengdu race fans - Luis SA SILVA from Asian Racing team (ART) grabbed pole while the young driver from Top ...

Qualifying: Outstanding performance from young drivers

Today's Asian Formula Renault [AFR] qualifying brought a brilliant show to Chengdu race fans - Luis SA SILVA from Asian Racing team (ART) grabbed pole while the young driver from Top Racing Team, Alon Day, qualified 2nd. Benjamin Rought qualified 3rd and Zhang Zhiqiang (March 3 racing team) took 4th.

The track was very slippery as the session started, due to mixed weather conditions, but Rought set a 1:42.0 as soon as he got on track in qualifying. As the session went on, track conditions improved and thus laptimes fell as Rought, SA SILVA and Day took turns to lead the qualifying session and the best laptime was bettered no less than six times during the 20 minute qualifying session to drop to 1:36.8 in the end. SA SILVA set the best lap while Day qualified 2nd. Rought qualified 3rd while the young M3 driver Zhang Zhiqiang (M3) started from the 2nd row.

Round 1: SA SILVA grabbed winner trophy & Day staged a good overtaking show

The 1st Race round started at 2:55pm with improved track conditions. When the checkered flag dropped, after 13 laps of fierce competition, Luis SA SILVA brought his team another winner trophy, and his teammate Rought stood on the podium in 2nd. Alon Day, the young driver whom has already brought a steady podium performance this season, did it again by staging yet another overtaking show in Chengdu to finish 3rd.

The major focus was on the young drivers. When the race started, pole- sitter SA SILVA lost his lead to his teammate Rought in lap 1. After warm up lap, Alon Day's car could not get started on the grid when the red lights went out to signal the F1-style standing race start, leaving Day stranded on the grid as cars passed around him. When Day finally got his car started midway through the other competitor's first lap, Day was already 10 seconds behind the last car in the race. However, based on Day's Shanghai race results, many people already thought that he might pull another surprise move again in Chengdu to take the podium. By lap 6, Day managed to overtake 4 cars to move up to 6th. SA SILVA and his teammate Rought, on the other hand, began a good fight. Rought led the race for 6 laps and was overtaken by SA SILVA while passing in the last turn in lap 7. Alon Day managed to overtake Tengyi Jiang and Zhang Zhiqiang to move to 3rd. With only several laps left, and SA SILVA & Rought at least 6 seconds away, Day couldn't pass them and settled for 3rd. Luis SA SILVA captured 1st and Rought 2nd. However, Alon Day did an amazing job by setting the best lap of AFR Chengdu race round 1 (1:32.4) despite starting the race no less than 10 seconds behind the race's first lap to finish on the podium, an amazing accomplishment in the highly competitive AFR series.

The 2nd round will start at 12:45 on Sunday. Let's count on another fierce fight from AFR drivers.

-credit: frd

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Tengyi Jiang , Alon Day